• Published 31st Oct 2013
  • 3,230 Views, 102 Comments

Music Sounds Better With You - Proswagonist

Seeking passage to Avalon, Alan Ryves finds the spell he used (written by no less than Merlin, himself!) takes him instead to Equestria. Quickly, he makes friends with a certain musically inclined pony, whom had just become homeless...

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Chapter 05 - Goodfellow

Author's Note:

Sorry for the wait, guys. I had a lot to deal with that just drained me emotionally over the last couple months.

Also, seriously guys, go find some clips of Cosmos on Youtube. You will feel smarter for having done it.

Chapter 5

Right away one feature stuck out for Alan about this newcomer: Long, pointed, and most definitely inhuman ears peeked from underneath this stranger's snow white locks. He was thin, and pale, and his features and mannerisms spoke of mirth and laughter. He spoke, in a slightly nasally, though upbeat voice "I hope you'll forgive me for barging in uninvited, it was too late to RSVP."

"That's fine! The more the merrier!" Pinkie Pie said with a smile.

"Oh, a mare after my own heart." the pale stranger says melodramatically with his hand over his chest, quickly turning the gesture into a sweeping bow. "The name is Puck, dear audience. I come from the land of Avalon, a pocket dimension sandwiched between this realm and Earth."

Alan cocks his head slightly in realization and says "Wait... Puck... as in 'And those things do best please me, That do befall preposterously' Puck?"

"Oh! You've seen Billy the drunkard's play, then. Joy. He couldn't even keep my false name right for more than a single act. Robin Goodfellow, indeed." Puck says with a sour face.

Vinyl Scratch whispers up to Alan, with a confused look. "What's all this about a play?"

"Well, about sometime 500 years ago or so, a playwright named William Shakespeare wrote a play called 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' which, it seems, was based on real events, and Puck here is a central character therein."

"Not all of it, thankfully. I'll leave it up to you to guess what parts of it were drunken foolery on the part of the writer." Puck says with a shrug.

"Ok, so, with that out of the way, you have some information for me? About how I was able to get Merlin's magic to work?"

"Right right." Puck says, hopping up on stage and pulling a chair out of a tiny bag on his belt. "You may want to sit down, too, mister Ryves, some of what I'm about to tell you is going to stick in your throat a bit. I promise I'll make it up to you, though."

Alan takes a seat next to Vinyl Scratch "Ready when you are."

"Well, quite bluntly, three thousand years ago during the rule of the vile Queen Mab, some children of Avalon fled the island. Some came to Earth and mingled quite vigorously with the population. Your father, and by extension you yourself, mister Ryves, are descended from those refugees. Merlin was the same."

"Alright, so where's the bad part of this?"

"Well, some of the fae blooded, let's call them, are more magically active, even on a subconscious level, than others. As well, each of the fae have a hmm... conceptual element we draw power from. Your father's was luck. Had be been conscious of the fact, he could have controlled from whom or what he took luck from. For sleepwalking fae blooded, a happy life is often hard to obtain, I'm afraid."

"Then my brother? And my sister?" Alan says aloud

"Your brother, yes. Your sister, no. the unborn have no conceptual energy which can be used. I'm afraid she, and by extension your mother's suicide, are the result of just genuine bad luck." Puck replies with a pained smile.

"Oh. I see." Alan says, visibly sinking into his chair a bit while Vinyl Scratch pats him on the shoulder.

"Normally, by decree of King Oberon, fae are not allowed to meddle with the lives of our wayward cousins, except in the case that one of you actually manages to discover how to use magic, thus why I am here. Tell me, have you ever noticed strange things in your surroundings? Places you frequent having anything odd about them after a while?"

Without thinking Alan replies "The clocks in my room. No matter how often I set them, replace them or fix them, they will always read two minutes slower than any other clock in the house."

"Even ones that should have been connected to that radio broadcast atomic clock, correct?" to which Alan nods in reply. "Well, this is a wonderful surprise. Your conceptual energy is time, my dear boy. A rare and fun gift, for those with a mind to deal with it. Now, think of the conceptual energy like you would, well, a pile of batteries you've been hoarding. You can use them to power pretty much any spell you'll find in Merlin's book, which it's self should be an excellent guide should you decide to further your understanding of fae magic. Fae blooded attempting to work magic related with their concept have an easier time of it than any other would, even allowing you to perform feats like slowing down or even stopping time for short bursts. Oberon tells me stopping time is very tiring the longer you do it."

"So in summary, I can do magic, and it's powered by the concept of time? Could I gather more energy faster by having more clocks around me?"

"You ARE a sharp one, mister Ryves. It does indeed work that way. Had your father not been a sleepwalker, he could have powered himself with a bunch of horseshoes or rabbit's feet." Puck finished his sentence just in time for the sound of a phone to ring in his pocket one time. "Oh, it's the big man himself."

Puck knocks twice in the air, as if knocking on a door, which creates a seemingly two-dimensional door in thin air. "I hate to cut and run, but I have business I need to do. Keep your phone charged, mister Ryves, you've got my number now if you need me. Ciao!" He finishes with a wave and steps into the other side, the door disappearing behind him.

A look of confusion crosses Alan's face for a moment before he pulls out his cell phone from his pocket. Sure enough, a contact named "P[H]UCK" is there, with garbled, unreadable runes instead of numbers. "Well I'll be damned."

"So, uh, are we gonna have this party or what?" says some stallion from the crowd after a brief moment of silence. Alan stands, and addresses the crowd.

"Indeed we shall! But first, I'd like to introduce you to what's under the tarp. Pinkie! If you will please, plug it in and show it off."

Already on it in the side of the room just past the party food, Pinkie Pie pulls off a tarp in a single move, revealing a large, flashy arcade machine with a marquee reading 'Dance Dance Revolution 5th MIX.'

"There she is, folks. I won this a month after my father passed in a lottery at a local arcade. What we have here is a genuine DDR machine from Japan, built for two players to square off and show off their ability to dance to a beat. Who wants to give it a try?"

Almost before he could finish his sentence, Rainbow Dash pops up from her seat "I am totally ready!"

Moments later, almost the entire room is crowded around the machine, with Rainbow Dash on one set of pads and Alan on the other. "Just look at the top of the screen to see what you need to hit next. The hardest part for me at first was keeping it straight which feet I used for which arrows."

"I've got no problems there." Dash replies with a grin.

"Right, do you want to pick the first song, or shall I?"

"You do it. Pick your favorite, I want to see how I do against your best!"

"Lupin the Third it is, then."

Several sets later, Alan is sweating heavily, downing a large glass of water, while Rainbow Dash is showing off for the crowd. "She is good. Freaking beat me at my favorite song on her first go."

"That's Rainbow Dash for you. Turn something into a competition and suddenly you have her interest." says a purple unicorn looking on at the spectacle of RD and Pinkie Pie facing off. "I'm Twilight Sparkle, by the way. I'm the town's librarian."

"Oh, I've heard of you from Vinyl Scratch. She said you're something of a local hero." Alan says, putting his hand forward to shake her hoof.

"Well, I really don't like to brag about it, but my friends and myself have done some things in the last year which could be considered to be heroic."

"Say, I'd like to drop off a few books tomorrow. Mostly a couple of my mother's old biology books I still have hanging around. Also, a set of graphic novels I'm done with."

The idea of new books to read lights up the purple mare's features "Are you sure you just want to donate them? I can make copies with magic if you'd like."

"Hmm, the comics you can copy. I don't know when I'll ever need to know what's in a teacher's biology book from 15 years ago, so you can just have those. But, if you can make copies, I'll bring along some other stuff, too. I've got my grandfather's Encyclopedia Britannica set, which is a giant collection of Earth's knowledge dating back some 40 years ago or so."

"Oooh, that sounds wonderful! I'll have to make a little room for a section of new Earth books I get from you. I bet everypony will be very interested in the place you come from for the next couple months."

"Remind me to show you Cosmos sometime. It was originally a book by a famous Earth scientist whom later got it turned into a television series. Really great one, too. Carl Sagan managed to explain really difficult subjects in a way anyone could understand, and he did it in a way in which you didn't feel like you were a child being talked to."

"That sounds like fun. I'll come by your place the day after tomorrow to take you up on that offer, if you don't mind."


The crowd around the arcade machine roars again, as Pinkie and Dash are still at it, neither being able to decisively beat the other at a game seemingly made for either of them.

"I'd better make sure my friends don't wear themselves out too much. I'll see you around, Alan." Twilight says before walking to her friends.

A couple hours later, and the party has wound down. Alan asked Pinkie to make sure the dance machine gets back to his house sometime after everyone has had some good rest. Vinyl Scratch walks alongside Alan with a smile. "Man, that machine was a total blast. I can see that being a big hit here, with as much parties as Pinkie throws."

Alan laughs a bit "Yeah. I just hope I can keep it in good enough condition. I like to work with my hands a lot on just, you know, kinda random jobs. The real reason the arcade was raffling off that machine was because the entire player 1 side was not registering, and they were too cheap to get someone to fix it. So guess who DID fix it?"

"You? Really?"

"Yup. I went into that arcade a week later with the biggest shit-eating grin. The owner knew right then I'd managed to get it done, and tried getting it back from me."

"Hahaha, wow, what a joke." Vinyl laughs. After a moment Vinyl gives Alan a grin "So, I saw you chatting up Twilight Sparkle back there. Got a hot date planned, stud?"

"Ahhh-hehehe, n-no, nothing like that."Alan says with a nervous chuckle. "I was just.. uhm.. inviting her over to watch some tv with me."

"Yeah, that's not much of a date."

The two travel the rest of the way in silence before finding themselves in front of Alan's door. "Hey Alan, can I tell you something?" Vinyl says pensively, looking away for a second while Alan unlocks and opens the front door.


"Uhm, come over here, I want to whisper it to you."

Alan pauses with an arched brow for a moment before bringing his ear down to Vinyl's mouth. Suddenly, he finds a pair of white forelegs wrapped around his neck in a tight embrace.

"Nice guys like you shouldn't have bad days." Vinyl says with her cheek pressed against his before landing a peck on the same cheek. Without another word, Vinyl trots upstairs to her room, leaving a stunned Alan in the doorway.